New Lydd Venue Proves A Winner For Owler Tri

Lydd Lake – created as part of Brett Aggregates’ restoration programme at Lydd Quarry in Kent – provided an exciting new venue for the Owler Triathlon and Aquabikes for the first time this year. The event which is organised by Tri Spirit Events and sponsored by Brett Group was a resounding success, with competitors achieving impressive times, despite the hot weather.


With a range of events on offer, from a gruelling Half Tri, comprising a 1,900m swim, 90km bike and a 21km run to a 1.9km Open Water Swim, athletes could choose their challenge in what was described on the British Triathlon website as ‘probably the fastest middle-distance triathlon in the South East’. Cyclists had to contend with only seven metres elevation across the entire 90km route which took them along scenic country roads through Lydd, Brookland and Camber in the Romney Marsh area of Kent.


Lydd Quarry has been operated by Brett Aggregates since the early 1970s and extraction of sand and gravel continues today, so care was taken to limit access to only those areas required for the event.  Area Production Manager, Jim Gibb and the Lydd Quarry team worked closely with Tri Spirit Events to complete a stringent risk assessment that ensured the safety of all competitors on the site.

As this was a new venue for the Owler Tri the organisers underwent the permitting process of the sport’s governing body, British Triathlon to obtain an event licence. “We also work with the local council safety advisory group, which covers Police, Fire and Kent Highways to name a few,” explains Liz King of Tri Spirit Events. “They all see our routes, risk assessments and emergency action plans.”

 

With temperatures soaring, marshals were stationed around the courses and at the finish line providing water, coke, energy drinks and energy gels as well as cooling sponges – all much appreciated by the 250 or so athletes that took part.

The Men’s Half Tri event was won by Adam Bailey (Greenwich) in 04:22:09 with Gary Roberts (Team Jameson) second in 04:28:01 and Peter Madarasz (Brighton Tri Club) third in 04:30:54. Bethan Male (Brighton Tri Club) was the winner of the Women’s Half Tri, coming home in 04:43:16, with Lizzy Brama (Crystal Palace Triathletes) second in 05:10:18 and Teresa Arevalo (Greenwich Tritons) third with a time of 05:11:14.

 

The Half Aquabike event, comprising a 1,900m swim and 90km cycle race saw David Reeves (East Fife) the first man home in 02:57:39, followed by Lawrence Wintergold (Mid Sussex Tri Club) in 03:04:56, with Steven Wirth (Challenge Tri Camp) in third place with 03:07:48.  The women’s race was won by Penny Wilkin (Coventry Triathletes) with a time of 03:21:44, with Louise Gretton second (03:23:33) and Karen Baitup third (03:46:53).

 

The Standard Tri event began with a 1,500m swim, followed by 40km on the bike then a 10km run.  The fastest man was Gary Laybourne (South London Harriers) with the blistering time of 02:04:15, followed by Ashley Scott (Royal Navy Triathlon) in 02:12:53 and Joey Davies (Intelligent Tri) in third place with a time of 02:15:40.  Eve Serventi (Weald Tri Club) came in first among the women in 02:37:10, with Jessica Page second (02:43:11) and Maura Wood (Coastal Striders) third in 03:01:05.

 

The Men’s Standard Aquabike winner was Dan Durran (Crystal Palace Triathletes) in 01:32:00 with Richard Reynolds (Medway Tri Club) second in 02:06:22. This race features a 1,500m swim and 40km cycle.  Clare Cornish was first home in the women’s race in 01:59:45, with Marika Stocker second in 02:11:22 and Marian Boyd third with a time of 02:36:47.

 

Competitors in the Sprint Tri event completed a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.  The first man home was Leigh Harris (Weald Tri Club) achieving a time of 01:08:23, with Toby Yemm second in 01:12:13 and Edward Crockett (Deal Tri) third in 01:12:21.  Linda Robson (PSOF) was the fastest woman, with a time of 01:25:25, with Aurore Festaud second in 01:31:55 and Sarah Cole third in 01:33:09.

 

The Sprint Aquabike event comprised a 750m swim followed by a 20km cycle.  Mark Richter (Greenwich Tritons) came home first for the men in 00:57:10, followed by Daniel Hallett (Ashford Tri Club) with a time of 01:03:23.  The women’s competition was won by Branislava Lakim who completed the event in 00:59:24 with Ellie Phillips hot on her heels with a time of 00:59:32 and Ceri Spain in third with 01:21:32.

 

The fastest man in the 1.9km Open Water Swim was Thomas Allen (Kent Police Swimming) with a time of 00:35:00, while Jo McRae won the women’s race in 00:38:52.

 

Feedback to the organisers from competitors was full of praise for the new event location and for the tremendous support given by marshals and other volunteers.

“The venue is ideal for a triathlon,” says Liz King. “The space we have for all the elements we require make it a wonderful location to hold the event. The support of Jim Gibb and the rest of the Brett Aggregates team make it easier for us to put on a good quality event. Working with Brett Group as a partner for the past ten years has been an absolute pleasure from the very beginning and we hope to continue for many years to come.”

 

Jim Gibb was delighted to have the opportunity to share part of the restored quarry site with the athletes for this event. “Brett Aggregates’ ongoing restoration at Lydd Quarry has created a series of beautiful lakes that have become home to a wide variety of bird species, including a number of rare birds,” says Jim.  “With safety an absolute priority, ongoing quarrying operations mean that public access to the Lydd site is not permitted, but it was a pleasure to be able to provide limited, controlled access to one of the lakes for this event.  With such positive feedback, we hope that Lydd Lake will become a regular venue for the Owler Tri.”